I’m “Out Straight!”

I had never heard the phrase “out straight” until I moved to Hoosick Falls, NY and a woman I knew there said it all the time.  If you don’t know what it means, let me give you an example:  “I have a full-time job, I’m writing 2 ebooks, trying to get my new apartment arranged, and keeping up this blog – I’m out straight!”  So, it means working so hard that your legs are out straight behind you or that your coattails are out straight in the wind or you are just lying out straight on the floor from the exertion of it all.

I am definitely “out straight!”  By the way, the example is me and to add to it, my keyboard is sticking.  I cleaned it out as I was advised – got out lots of dust, etc. and now it sticks worse than ever.  What’s that about?  That’s another of my favorite sayings – I use it whenever something happens that just doesn’t make sense or when someone does something that is beyond stupid – what’s that about?

You know, my Dad was the king of “sayings” and I think I’m well on the way to overtaking his position.  He is famous in our family and all over the east coast for things like “You get used to hanging if you hang long enough” and “That doesn’t mean pea-turkey to me.”  (Anybody know what a “pea-turkey” is?)  My brother and I call them “Howardisms” (his name was Howard – duh) and have often thought of writing a book – only problem is we can’t remember them all until we get together and start shooting them off at each other – then they come so fast we can’t get them out, much less write them down.  But I think I’m going to have a massive amount of my own sayings before I meet up with Dad again in the hereafter.

My all-time favorite is “get a grip.”  It can mean, “get hold of yourself” – like stop whining/belly-aching – or “get in touch with reality” – as in “no way!”  A close second is “get over yourself” which means basically, “don’t take yourself so seriously” or “whatever is bugging you, let go of it and get over it.”

My grandchildren think I’m a little strange although they have caught on to some of my crazy sayings now that they have reached the age of reason – well, almost.   The first time I got in the car, turned on the ignition and turned around to say, “We’re off to see the wizard,” they looked at me as if they had found me behind a curtain pulling levers and shouting,”I am the great Oz!”  That’s because they didn’t have a single clue what wizard I was referring to and when I said incredulously, “the Wizard of Oz, of course,” they really thought I had gone off the deep end with the flying monkeys.

I have since educated them about the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and have sung the song so they now totally get it when I jump in the car yelling, “We’re off to see the wizard!”  Of course, neither of them has any idea what a pea-turkey is any more than I did at their age.  I’m not sure I know any better now but from the way my Dad always used it, I presume it was something very small and insignificant – kind of like when you say something isn’t worth “one red cent” or “the paper it’s written on.”  Like a pea-hen, a pea-turkey must be some small and relatively stupid bird that is only valuable once a year but you’d have to have a lot of them for a decent Thanksgiving dinner.

Another one of my favorites is the “pity pot” or “pity party” as “get off it,” which is probably what you are all thinking when I complain about being “out straight” or when I start moaning about it being colder than a “well-digger’s donkey” (well, I was told to keep my blog clean) up here in New York.  I’m sure you’d all say something like “C’mon Susan – get off your pity pot – nobody gives pea-turkey about how cold it is in upstate New York this year – you’re not the only one who is out straight right now so get a grip because it’ll be all right – after all, you get used to hanging if you hang long enough.  So, get over yourself!

So, what do you think – “Susanisms?”  “Get a grip Susan!”

About ladyfr

An ordained Episcopal priest for 20+ years, I am now semi-retired with a rather small pension so I do services at a tiny little church in the country, work full-time for AAA as an Auto Travel Counselor where I get to take people's money (open and renew accounts) and tell them where to go (help them route trips), and do free-lance writing and other virtual jobs on the internet. I have one son, Scott, who is married to Stacey, and 2 adorable grandchildren, Jared and Emily. They are all the center of my life and I spend as much time with them as all of the above activities will allow. I am currently writing an eBook about my experiences in the ordination process of the church and the places I served. It has been a mixed bag of great fulfillment and joy as well as frustration and pain. It's due out in several months. Closing in on the magic Social Security retirement age, I will soon be able to quit working for AAA or anybody where I have to punch a clock and work completely from home, doing what I love - writing and helping others with their work or their issues.
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